Newark addiction center, business community plan annual 5K
This Wednesday, Oct. 7, an annual event dating back 25 years returns to New Jersey's largest city, highlighting a Newark-based organization that has been meeting the needs of those affected by addiction since 1968.
The Newark Corporate Run is one of the flagship events of Integrity House, which has provided opportunities for individuals in the community to reclaim their lives for nearly five decades.
"We were founded to help the individuals who were struggling with addiction in the Newark area," said Robert Budsock, president and CEO of Integrity House. "However, over the course of years, we've expanded and we now work with individuals from all 21 counties."
Wednesday's 5K run/walk through historic downtown Newark is called the Corporate Run because it is not only heavily supported by the city's business community, but also traditionally attracts many of its workers as participants -- some of them even signing up with company teams.
"It's a strong partnership that we have with the corporate sector of the city of Newark, and also with the administration of the city of Newark," Budsock said.
Budsock expects upward of 1,000 entrants in this year's race, and he hopes the event will help change the stigma associated with addiction.
"We'll probably get about 900 preregistered runners, and then we'll have about 100 runners that actually register on the day of the event," he said.
The race course is designed to pass by the original Integrity House location, shining an even brighter spotlight on the group's commitment to providing addicts with comprehensive, holistic treatment. They serve almost 2,400 adult and adolescent addicts each year.
"We work on the issues that initially led the individual to the addiction, whether it's alcoholism, heroin addiction, cocaine addiction," Budsock said. "When someone comes to us and they are severely addicted, we need to treat the whole person, and we need to make sure that we utilize our whole continuum of care at Integrity House."
Early bird registration for the Newark Corporate Run must be completed by Monday, Oct. 5, and costs $22 per person. That rate drops to $18 for USA Track & Field New Jersey members. Race day registration begins at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 7, and is $25. All proceeds will benefit continuing outreach programs and treatment facilities at Integrity House.
Start time for the race is 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, in Washington Park in Newark. For more information, visit integrityhouse.org.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's evening news anchor. He has run a mile, without stopping, exactly once in his life. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015, email email@example.com, and listen for his live reports Monday through Thursday nights between 6:30 and 11 p.m.